September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Originally launched in September 2003 by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization, World Suicide Prevention Day is a way of focusing attention on suicide and confirming the message: suicides are preventable.
The Elk Valley Suicide Task Force (EVSTF), which was founded in 2020 after a streak of suicides locally, will be holding a World Suicide Prevention Day event at Rotary Park to observe the day.
Keynote speaker at the event will be Adam Campbell, a well-known mountain athlete who will be sharing his journey of dealing with mental illness, grief and moving forward.
At the event, EVSTF will be providing information on suicide prevention to help educate others in the warning signs, the effects, and how to get help.
A full schedule of the event is below:
6PM: Opening and welcome by Elder Joan O’Neil from the Ktunaxa Nation
6:15PM: Local Speaker Alana Block
6:45PM: Live music with Charles Benjamin
7:15PM: Speaker Adam Campbell
8:15PM: Live music with Charles Benjamin
8:40PM: Candlelit memorial walk
This year’s focus for the IASP is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’: Preventing suicide is often possible and YOU are a key player in its prevention. By learning the warning signs you can make a difference to someone who is suffering and by taking time to reach out to someone whether a family member, friend, colleague or even a stranger could change the course of another’s life.
Major warning signs of suicide spell IS PATH WARM:
I – Ideation: thinking about suicide
S – Substance use: problems with drugs or alcohol
P – Purposelessness: feeling like there is no purpose in life or reason for living
A – Anxiety: feeling intense anxiety or feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
T – Trapped: feeling trapped or feeling like there is no way out of a situation
H – Hopelessness or Helplessness: feeling no hope for the future, feeling like things will
never get better
W – Withdrawal: avoiding family, friends, or activities
A – Anger: feeling unreasonable anger
R – Recklessness: engaging in risky or harmful activities normally avoided
M – Mood change: a significant change in mood
Each and every suicide is devastating and has a profound impact on those around those around them. By reeducating ourselves and others, this will reduce the stigma around suicide. We can all create hope through action.
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